Sometimes, like so many other blondes, I have forgetful and/or negligent moments. Today was one of those days.
Apologies to those (likely only a few, or at least that’s what I’m going to tell myself) who read my tweet telling you the would be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday. In fact, it started at noon. Apparently I wasn’t the only one, though, because City Councilman Larry Kramer (there are white-hair jokes out there, too, right?) also thought it began at 1 p.m., as did another man who had, unfortunately, read my tweet.
I showed up at 1 p.m. and caught the tail end of the luncheon, which, as was later explained to me, was an overview of upcoming transportation projects in town.
Coincidentally, Capistrano Dispatch editor Jonathan Volzke has brown hair and recognized the correct meeting time. To read his coverage of the luncheon, click here.
I feel I owe it to you to share the little I did catch, which was Mayor Sam Allevato's reactions to the turnout, and his recent attempts to open the line of communication between City Hall and residents.
There were about 50 people in the council chambers Wednesday, about half of them city staffers and representatives and directors from various agencies, such as the Orange County Transportation Authority, Orange County Council of Governments and Rancho Mission Viejo.
Allevato called the latter group "heavy hitters"—people who are extensively familiar with projects well, such as the and expansion of Ortega Highway. He would have liked to see more unfamiliar faces at these meetings to glean specific information about what's going in town.
"Most people are happy in town; they love living here," he said, explaining that most residents are in tune with the fact that some , and there's going to be a or that , but "they don't know the details."
Although he took the lead in hosting Wednesday's luncheon, he wants to see the other City Council members host some of their own to discuss issues that they themselves care about.
It was Allevato who said at a City Council meeting earlier this year , but he has been accused lately of attempting to strong arm the other council members with his efforts to communicate. He was criticized when letters written on the "office of the mayor" letterhead promoting thewere included in water bills (Reeve has openly expressed his disapproval of the redevelopment agency).
Allevato countered accusations that he went against city policies that guide council members in corresponding using official letterhead, saying he never signed the letter or even wrote it. The letter was mailed at the direction of the city manager, was written by city staffers and was "only facts" and "not opinion," he said.
But "in retrospect," he said, "I need to get them all involved more," he said of the rest of the council.